Lincoln weekend marks the beginning of the new turf flat season for most flat racing fans and this year’s renewal has attracted a high class field. Indeed, you need to be rated 98 just to get in this time around and the entire field are separated by just 8lbs on the official rating scale.
Clearly, finding the winner of this race is going to be no mean feat but by my reckoning several of these can be ruled out pretty easily on accounts that they are too old, unlikely to handle the ground or vulnerable to better handicapped rivals.
I’ve researched the last 19 runnings of the Lincoln and have identified the following trends to help us narrow down the field.
18/19 winners were aged 4-6, but this age group has accounted for 83.8% of the total runners.
Horses aged 7+ have a record of 1-13-69.
16/19 winners were bred in Britain or Ireland.
Horses bred in the USA have a record of 3-5-38.
18/19 winners ran in a Class 2 or Class 3 last time out.
16/19 winners had raced at Class 2+ level previously.
18/19 winners had 10 or more points in their Dosage Profile.
17/19 winners had a Centre of Distribution of 0.00 – 1.20.
15/19 winners had a Dosage Index of 0.68 – 2.14.
Mean Centre of Distribution: 0.36
Mean Dosage Index: 1.74
As is usually the case, the Spring Cup earlier on the card is likely to be the best guide.
5 of the 8 renewals since Doncaster’s redevelopment have been won by horses drawn in stalls 9-16.
The other 3 were won by horses drawn in stalls 1-3, and these of these were all on soft ground.
Horses drawn highest of all have a record of 0-3-19.
15/19 winners were returning to the track after a break of 121-365 days.
4/19 winners had raced within the past 30 days.
17/19 winners had finished in the top 3 on 1 of their last 3 runs.
13/19 winners had won 1 of their last 3 runs.
Horses wearing headgear are 2-10-64.
Last Time Out
18/19 winners ran in a handicap last time out.
Of the 108 horses that ran in a non-handicap last time out, only 1 has won.
9 of the last 19 renewals were won by horses who finished 1st or 2nd last time out.
17/19 winners had won 2 or more races.
17/19 winners had won no more than 3 handicaps.
16/19 winners had won over 1m or further.
If you enjoy the challenge of finding your own winners, these key statistical pointers should help you to determine which horses fit the Winning Profile the best.
Interestingly, there doesn’t look to be much pace on here with Beach Bar the only confirmed front runner in the lineup. He’s drawn in stall 9, which suggests the middle may be the place to be, as there doesn’t appear to be any obvious trailblazing types either side of him.
Brian Meehan’s Mutarakez looked like a potential Group horse when overcoming obvious signs of greenness to land two valuable handicaps last Spring, but he finished down the field at Royal Ascot next time out and has been gelded since. He’s very much the type to do better as a four-year-old and gives the impression he will stay further, but I do have my doubts about him on the ground. To my eye, he looks as though he has a fast ground action, but at the prices I’m willing to take a chance that he will handle it as there’s every chance he could yet turn out to be better than a handicapper and if that’s the case he’s going to take some beating.
Udododontu is drawn right next to the pace in stall 10 and he’s an interesting purchase for Godolphin, having been bought out of Rae Guest’s yard after finishing second in the Britannia. He stepped up on that when making a winning debut for Saeed Bin Suroor at Meydan in January and posted another career-best when runner-up in a hot handicap back there last time. I’m not convinced soft ground will suit him either, but if connections want to be picking up black type with him later in the season then he ought to be going close here regardless.
A low draw has been an advantage in this race over the years, especially when the ground has turned up soft, and Man Of Harlech ran a blinder behind Grendisar at the All-Weather Championships last week when you consider that he was wrong at the weights. He has a pronounced high knee action and is unable to quicken on artificial surfaces, but soft ground and a galloping track are what he needs and the form of his Cambridgeshire fourth suggests he may be a bit overpriced.
The lightly-raced Storm Rock is another who needs soft ground and he was an impressive winner at Leicester in October in the same race won by Gabrial prior to his Lincoln success last year, but his overall level of form suggests he probably won’t quite be good enough. He’s 13lbs higher in the weights now and got slammed by Mutarakez at Haydock last year, but is more than likely still on the upgrade and can’t be discounted given that he isn’t drawn too far away from the pace in stall 13. A definite contender.
Of the rest, Express Himself showed a decisive turn of foot when making it 3-4 at Haydock on his final start last season but that wasn’t the first time he very nearly got left behind in the stalls and the five-year-old clearly has his quirks. If he doesn’t throw the race away at the start he’s capable of playing a part but that’s a big if in my opinion and he won’t be carrying my money.
The form of Bravo Zolo’s win at Wolverhampton last month has worked out well and the booking of Ryan Moore is an intriguing one. My issue with him is that most of his form is on the all-weather and it remains to be seen whether he can transfer his recent progression to turf.
Ocean Tempest is likely to need the run on his first run since July but is remarkably well-treated on his old form and could be hard to keep out of the frame. He another who loves soft ground.
Mutarakez — 1pt win @ 9/1 (Betway, Boylesports, Paddy Power)
Udododontu — 1pt win @ 10/1 (Generally)
Man Of Harlech — 1pt each-way @ 16/1 (Bet365, BetVictor, Paddy Power)